The Newtown Pentacle

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Posts Tagged ‘Animals

obvious effort

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Friday shots from the before time.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Critters greet you today, photos of which were captured prior to the war on statuary. Amongst those whose political dial leans toward the left, a humble narrator maintains an unpopular opinion that iconoclasm is never a good thing. If a statue of Godzilla is encountered, you are not going to bring Tokyo back by destroying the statue. Perhaps, you might want to create some signage for the statue describing what the beast did, and all the people it hurt, but you aren’t going to change history by knocking the face off of the Godzilla statue. Such practice has a long and ugly history, and usually signals that “the revolution” has run out of steam. Ever lament at the works of figurative Roman or Greek art in museums which are missing their faces? Roiled when the Taliban blew up those Buddha statues 20 years ago? Should the Polish Government grind away the remains of Auschwitz and build a shopping mall on the site?

Sometimes, when a statue of a bad person stands in the public square, you can change the message originally intended to illustrate evolving morals and modern points of view. Do you think Putin would be able to do what he’s been doing if statues of Stalin and Lenin were still glowering over and reminding the Russian people of the price of “strong leadership”? Also, you can’t exact revenge on somebody who has been dead for centuries by knocking down a statue.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Personally, I like to wallow in my sins, and am proud of the fact that my points of view are always evolving and changing. It indicates, to me at least, that I still have an open mind and that empathy and compassion haven’t died within. It also indicates that I haven’t become an ideologue governed by some anonymous hive mind idea.

Of course, free thought and a personally arrived at point of view are things you’re not supposed to have anymore. Follow the leader, kid, or you might get cancelled. Otherwise – some jackass bike enthusiast in Astoria might tweet mean things at you at 3 a.m., or a firearms enthusiast might…

Pepsi comes in a blue can. Coke comes in a red one. It’s all carbonated sugar water dosed up with caffeine. Drink some water.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Beyond the brave new world of calcified support for people who couldn’t care less if you lived or died, something which has come up in conversation repeatedly in the last few days with a certain segment of my friends is the fact that this is the first time in our collective memory during which we’ve actually had the summer off. For me, it’s nearly 15 years since I haven’t been waking up at six in the morning on summer weekends, then leading a walking tour of Newtown Creek and coming home at “hot o’clock” in the afternoon.

I certainly miss going to work, doing “my thing” as it were, and wish that this summer off didn’t involve a plague. I always said that what this City needed was a good plague, and here we are. Be careful what you ask for, I guess. See y’all next week with some photos collected during the after time.

Note: I’m writing this and several of the posts you’re going to see for the next week at the beginning of the week of Monday, July 6th. My plan is to continue doing my solo photo walks around LIC and the Newtown Creek in the dead of night as long as that’s feasible. If you continue to see regular updates as we move into April and beyond, that means everything is kosher as far as health and well being. If the blog stops updating, it means that things have gone badly for a humble narrator.

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Written by Mitch Waxman

July 10, 2020 at 2:00 pm

sweet forgetfulness

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

While wandering about the Newtown Creek, it is easy to lose faith that wholesomeness exists anywhere, and one’s thoughts turn toward the apocalyptic. Floating sewage, volatile organic chemicals, and sometimes even oil envenomate the water. Languid waves lick at and nourish shorelines whose concretized holdings of mud and soil are deeply riven with heavy metals and certain ashy residues which hint at a faded industrial grandeur, and the very air you breath is a poisonous fume.

Yet, somehow, against every possible chance, nature endures in this place.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One of the mythologies about the Newtown Creek is that it is some sort of dead zone, destroyed and irrevocably altered by man.

While some of this is true, Dutch Kills for instance used to run all the way to Queens Plaza (ever notice the smell down in the subway station? That’s Dutch Kills, which still follows it’s ancient course through brick lined subterranean sewers, and oozes through the masonry walls of the subway. I know the specific smell of Dutch Kills, and the odor in the station is definitely it) and Maspeth Creek flowed halfway to Flushing when the Dutch found it.

The thing is, while the bird in these shots is beautiful, most of the life found in the Newtown Creek is not as esthetically pleasing.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Just the other day, a stalwart member of the Long Island City Boathouse described observing oyster colonies, obviously rendered unfit for consumption by the endemic pollution of the waterway, growing wild in English Kills. I’ve personally observed Eel fry as far back as Maspeth Creek, several higher species of the icthyan order, jellyfish. The radical LaGuardia Community College biologist Dr. Sarah Durand is in the process of collecting evidences of zooplankton and other invertebrate populations in the water column. There’s also a Heron which is known to reveal it’s wisdom, close to the Grand Street Bridge, to those wise enough to ask it the right questions.

Who can guess all there is, that might be hidden down there?

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